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Erik ten Hag wants one aspect of Man Utd transfer policy to stay the same

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is keen to keep his influence over transfer business in the club’s new football structure headed up by Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS, according to a report.

Ratcliffe completed his 25% buy-in at the end of 2023, making United the latest sporting venture for INEOS – the firm already has OGC Nice, Lausanne-Sport and leading cycling team INEOS Grenadiers in its portfolio, as well as a one third share in the Mercedes F1 team.

The British billionaire will lean on experts already close to him and Sir Dave Brailsford, famed for his ‘marginal gains’ philosophy honed while performance director at British Cycling, has been director of sport for INEOS since 2021. He is set to take a major role in revamping United’s football operations.

Part of Brailsford’s remit will unsurprisingly be the player recruitment process – former chief executive Richard Arnold admitted during an encounter with fans in 2022 that the club had “burned through” £1bn in the market with minimal gain. Many transfers since then have also been criticised.

Sir Dave Brailsford (R) was at Old Trafford for the Boxing Day comeback win over Aston Villa

Sir Dave Brailsford (R) was at Old Trafford for the Boxing Day comeback win over Aston Villa / Nathan Stirk/GettyImages

But ESPN reports that Ten Hag still wants involvement. Even though elite football clubs across the board are increasingly taking recruitment out of the hands of managers, the Dutchman is believed to have held the power to veto any transfer since his arrival just over 18 months ago.

It is suggested that Ten Hag is keen to still be a “key part of the decision-making process” and have a “major say” on which players are brought in and which are moved on.

Ten Hag’s power at United has previously been seen in the manner of Cristiano Ronaldo’s sudden departure within a few months of working together, as well as Jadon Sancho’s exile from the first-team.

His influence on new recruits is also clear to see, with Lisandro Martinez, Antony and Andre Onana all having been part of his Ajax team and Frenkie de Jong a long-term target. Ten Hag’s agent, Kees Vos, is also co-founder of the firm that won the battle to represent Rasmus Hojlund in May.


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